Hawk fly-past wows veterans

Armed Forces Week flag raising ceremony at Blackpool Town Hall
Armed Forces Week flag raising ceremony at Blackpool Town Hall

BLACKPOOL Armed Forces and Veterans Week got off to a flying start with a special flag raising ceremony and impressive fly-past.

Members of the public gathered to watch as soldiers from the 4th Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and veterans from the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association carried the Armed Forces Week flag from North Pier to the Town Hall.

The flag was then passed to two pupils from Highfield Humanities College, legendary footballer and National Service veteran Jimmy Armfield and Blackpool Mayor Coun Sylvia Taylor before it was raised up.

Gary Bell, chairman of the Armed Forces and Veterans Week steering group committee, said: “It was really nice to see people out there supporting the event.

“We were very fortunate the RAF scheduled one of their Hawks to fly past at 10.31am – and on the dot, it appeared over the pier and then up Talbot Road.

“It was really impressive.”

Hundreds of veterans and their families are expected to flock to Blackpool this week for a variety of events to celebrate the Armed Forces.

The flag raising ceremony was the first of a week of activities including last night’s Music for Heroes concert, war-time cinema screenings, entertainment in local clubs and a parade along the Promenade this Sunday.

Julian Mineur, project manager of Supporting Our Brave, said: “The flag raising ceremony went well. It was a nice start to the week’s events.”